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Ball Joint Replacement - Hub Bearing Question


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So I did my MD inspection today on the new 03 4x4 and the guy said I needed upper and ...


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Old 12-30-2016, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ball Joint Replacement - Hub Bearing Question
So I did my MD inspection today on the new 03 4x4 and the guy said I needed upper and lower ball joints on both sides. I've been driving this truck for about 200 miles now and it does not shudder at highway speed, tracks true, makes no clunking noises going over speed bumps and small potholes don't make anything rattle. I'm skeptical about the ball joints being bad at under 100k miles but he put it in writing so if I want to get a perm tag I have to do it. My regular shop quoted me $950 for the job. Rock Auto gets me 2 Moog upper control arms and 2 lower ball joints for under $250 so I figure I'll just spend the $75 on a ball joint tool at Harbor Freight and do it in the cold.

One thing that I thought of after watching some videos on doing the job is whether or not I want to change out the wheel bearing/hub assemblies. Like I said it's not making any noise but I'd hate to have to break it down again if I'm going to need to do the job in a few months.

What kind of life are folks getting out of their front bearings/hubs on the 3rd Gen 1500's?


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Old 12-30-2016, 08:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My lower ball joints were done at 125,000 miles when I bought the truck along with one of the hubs, so I replaced everything at once. I now have 130,000 miles on it and I'm getting some slack in the steering, so I'm going to replace outer and inner tie rods.

As far as the tool, just rent it from a parts store. From experience, the ball joint tools from Harbor Freight are pretty much a crap shoot and you'll likely need a quality tool to break them loose. You'll be putting a ton of pressure on the tool. I have bent the C-Clamps from Harbor Freight before. Even the quality OTC ball joint sleeves can shatter on these...... I have a couple cracked ones in the shop right now and they were expensive.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll agree with everything Bullit said. Rent the tools from autozone, napa, etc. I avoid HF at all costs. The metals they use in their tools are slightly better than pot metal. Many of their tools are pot metal. I have broken several HF tools without much effort.
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lharrell79 View Post
I'll agree with everything Bullit said. Rent the tools from autozone, napa, etc. I avoid HF at all costs. The metals they use in their tools are slightly better than pot metal. Many of their tools are pot metal. I have broken several HF tools without much effort.
Don't get me wrong, I have a bunch of Harbor Freight tools that work very well and I'm a frequent shopper. There's just certain things that they make that I will not use, a ball joint press is just one of them.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Bullitt5339 View Post
Don't get me wrong, I have a bunch of Harbor Freight tools that work very well and I'm a frequent shopper. There's just certain things that they make that I will not use, a ball joint press is just one of them.
Same here


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Old 12-31-2016, 09:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I got 129,301 on the Passenger side. I did the drivers as a precaution a week later just so I didn't have to pay someone to do it on a road trip again. I got the passenger side from Napa where the shop got it from while I was traveling. On my drivers side I did 1Aauto one and I am now testing to see who's is better


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Old 12-31-2016, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Just did my ball joints at 77k miles. The way I knew mine were going was low speed it felt like a droning or rhythmic vibration between 25-40mph. Since I'm under warranty the dealership did it but said the hubs were still good. Normally you will start to get that squeaking from the bearings when they are starting to go. When you have it jacked up see how much play there is when you grab the top and bottom of the wheel. If it's nominal, you're still good. Any more than that, just replace them.


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